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Airline Mechanic’s Termination for Failure to Provide Urine for Drug Testing Affirmed

William King, a mechanic for Northwest Airlines, was directed to provide a urine specimen for drug testing. The tester reported to his supervisor that King failed to provide the specimen within 3 hours, which King initially didn’t contest. But after proceedings to terminate him were commenced with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) allowed King to contest the timeframe in which he was said to have failed to urinate, finding that he hadn’t been given the required 3 hours. He was therefore not fired. The FAA appealed to the National Transportation Safety Board (Board), which reversed the ALJ and terminated King, who appealed.

On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit found that the ALJ abused his discretion by allowing King to change his position about the time he was allowed to urinate without good cause. The Board’s reversal of the ALJ was therefore affirmed. See: King v. Nat’l Trans. Safety Board, 362 F.3d 439 (8th Cir. 2004).

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Related legal case

King v. Nat’l Trans. Safety Board